The Stone Age in and around Coventry.
We already know that people of the late Neolithic were grinding flour and baking bread at Ryton on Dunsmore when the stones of Stonehenge were being erected, because a similar style arrowhead to those found at Durrington Walls was discovered on the site.
Allesley: A little version of Dorset's Cranborne Chase? We have covered the Dorset Cursus elsewhere on this site and understand its attraction to early folks for the way glacial meltwater sculpted the land into several parallel valleys and ridges across which people ran the cursus to give it its alignments on the sun and moon.
Whilst not suggesting that the less pronounced valleys to the east of Allesley village were sculpted by glaciers - although possible - these ridges must have been equally appealing to early folk.
It was while studying Explorer Map 221 of the area around Allesley that I noticed an area marked on the map which has been left devoid of any kind of a description. A picture of this possible "Settlement"? is shown above, together with the ridge that runs from the City Hill Hotel (seen extreme left) to Pickford on the right. We have already seen how nettles are are good indicator of settlement, and this whole area is covered in them.
Furthermore, depending in where you stand, the southernmost moon will be seen to set here in 2004.
The next photo looks back from the other side of this ridge.
A chance meeting with a rambler told me that archaeologists have recently excavated this foreground in advance of development for dwellings. I have no idea what archaeologists have or have not found. So work for another day! What I do know is that the northernmost moon will be seen to set in 2024 just to the right of the most distant pylon and where the ridge just begins to fall off in height.
The busy A45 is just beyond the tree-line. Some lorries parked in a layby can be see through the trees.
Note the pylon on the left, it's off axis of the moonset, but that is where the next picture was taken from.
The previous picture failed to make it clear that it was taken from the top of another ridge. The above picture should put things right. X marks the spot where the previous picture was taken from, and where archaeologists are believed to have been digging.
The green coloured line marks the path of the Pickford brook as it makes its way to join the River Sherbourne.
Although it's doubtful if I shall ever see him again, grateful thanks are extended to the lorry driver who allowed me to climb into his cab to get this picture.
Making our way back to Eastern green and the exit, we enter the next field and take a picture of the ridge, on the horizon that is Eastern Green. The trees mark the line of another branch of the Pickford Brook.
Somewhere in this field a ring ditch was discovered by aerial photography, and proved prehistoric by the artefacts found by C.H.E.P. (Coventry Historic Environment Project) while field-walking.
More information about this ring ditch was given in the CADAS publication "Stepping into the past: Historical walks in Allesley, Coundon & Keresley."
Inspired by the CADAS booklet "Stepping Into The Past," This section tells how several Neolithic and Bronze Age settlements to the northwest of Coventry - from Keresley to Eastern green - describe a line that points at where the southernmost moon will set in 2024. Enjoy.
We start by parking alongside the sharp bend in Fivefield Road, which is found at point six of walk 4 of the CADAS booklet.
Enter the field via the gate and climb the hill almost up to Bensons Wood.
Bunson's Wood. Bounded by banks and ditches, both inside and out, this wood is crying out for further investigation. Particularly a LIDAR scan.
This picture is taken from the footpath leading up to Bunsons Wood, and from where the previous photo was taken.
This photo looks through a gap in the hedge towards the Iron Age Hillfort built on top of Corley rocks. This picture should help know where we are. More importantly, this view looks over Hounds Hill to where many more prehistoric flint tools have been found and which marks the start of the moon alignment.
We can now turn around and find our way back down to the gate... but not quite.
Arial photography by Google Earth shows this field to contain a pair of double ring-ditches. The land in which these ring ditches stand was acquired by Queens College Oxford around 1510 to 1529, but why they should want to own it is anyone's guess. The CADAS booklet says that this land is private property, and suggests we do not trespass.
I have drawn a line in white to mark the moon-line, which comes down from Hounds Hill where the flint was found.